Rosalía at the 2020 GRAMMYs
Photo: Rachel Luna/FilmMagic/Getty Images
Meet Rosalía, Lil Nas X, Billie Eilish & More GRAMMY 2020 Winners Backstage
The 62nd GRAMMY Awards officially wrapped last Sunday (Jan. 26) after an evening filled with powerhouse performances and exciting first-time GRAMMY winner moments. Let's revisit Music's Biggest Night from a new location by going backstage at Staples Center to talk with some of the freshly crowned GRAMMY winners.
2020 GRAMMY winners Rosalía, Lil Nas X, Billie Eilish and FINNEAS, DJ Khaled, Elvis Costello & The Imposters and Cage The Elephant all spoke to the ever-upbeat backstage interview host Ted Stryker after their big moments. Read on to watch each of the conversations and learn more about their wins.
Shortly after taking three more Latin GRAMMYs (for a total of five to date) back home to Barcelona in November, Spanish nu-flamenco queen Rosalía earned her first GRAMMY nominations: Best New Artist and Best Latin Rock, Urban Or Alternative Album. On Sunday during the GRAMMY Premiere Ceremony, she won the latter category for her epic sophomore album, 2018's El Mal Querer.
"I can't believe that this happened, I can't believe that the people here are receiving my music with so much love. I'm so shocked and still processing," the Barcelonan star said backstage.
She also made her GRAMMY stage debut last week, stunning viewers with her powerful vocals and choreography during a mind-blowing performance featuring her newest song, "Juro Que," and the EMQ favorite, "Malamente." When asked if she was nervous before her performance, she revealed she was, but was also thrilled about sharing her flamenco-inspired music on the acclaimed GRAMMY stage in Los Angeles. "The excitement was bigger than anything else."
2019 was a wild ride for genre-dancing cowboy Lil Nas X, who took us all to the "Old Town Road" multiverse. From a viral sensation on TikTok to a record-breaking No. 1 run in a matter of months, the 20-year-old now has two GRAMMYs to his name: Best Music Video and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, both for the megahit. He also made his shimmering GRAMMY stage musical debut with a trippy, star-studded performance of the GRAMMY-winning bop and "Rodeo."
"A year ago, I was somewhere online, promoting this song called 'Old Town Road' with barely a nickel to my name," the "Panini" artist said, rocking a fierce hot pink cowboy getup. "Now I'm here at the GRAMMYs, [with] two GRAMMY Awards."
Reflecting on his rapid rise toward fame and global acclaim, he revealed, "The journey has been very spiritually and mentally challenging, but it helped so much. I've completely turned, and I'm going to continue to turn, into a better version of myself."
A few minutes after taking home their final GRAMMY wins (they each earned five!), sibling wunderkinds Billie Eilish and FINNEAS caught up with Stryker backstage. When he asked where all the emotion was coming from, a teary-eyed Eilish laughingly responded, "Dawg, everywhere! Where is the emotion? It's everything… It's coming from the fact that we just won a bunch of GRAMMYs."
He also asked what their biggest hopes for the album were. Their answers make their GRAMMY triumph even more powerful. "I wasn't expecting anything," Eilish answered.
"We just made this album that we liked. I can't stress it enough. We didn't mean for it to win a GRAMMY, you know? We made an album that we loved and that we wanted to make. That was kind of our only goal, to enjoy making it, enjoy it once it was out and enjoy performing it, so this is just unreal."
"One of the only goals we had with it was that we wanted to make an album that we love playing live because we tour so much," FINNEAS added.
DJ/producer DJ Khaled also took home his first GRAMMY win on Sunday for Best Rap/Sung Performance for "Higher." The uplifting track features late L.A. rapper Nipsey Hussle—the song was recorded before his death and released less than two months afterward—along with EGOT king John Legend. Hussle won two posthumous GRAMMYs, also taking home Best Rap Performance for the last single he released, "Racks In The Middle," featuring Roddy Ricch and Hit-Boy.
"The day it started off—it was tough, it was real tough," Khaled shared, referring to NBA hero Kobe Bryant's shocking death earlier that day. "[During sound check], John Legend was playing the piano and started singing 'Higher.' It touched my soul. It made me like, 'We gonna go out here, we gonna do it for our brothers.'"
"We come to show love and spread love, for the families," he added, also sharing his excitement for the recent birth of his second son, Aalam.
1979 Best New Artist nominee Elvis Costello has been doing things his own way within the pop space since before 2020 Best New Artist Billie Eilish was even born, and he's still in it. On Sunday, he took home Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for Look Now, his 2018 album with his band, The Imposters. It is the group's first GRAMMY win together and Costello's second—his first was in 1999 for Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals for "I Still Have That Other Girl," featuring Burt Bacharach.
Introducing his bandmates, including GRAMMY- and Latin GRAMMY-winning producer Sebastian Krys, Costello said, smiling, "We are our own tradition. Being traditional ain't a bad thing… I guess people were surprised because they think of us in terms of one kind of music from 40 years ago, but we play every kind of music."
He also talked about collaborating with Bacharach again on some of the GRAMMY-winning album's tracks and how one of the songs was one he'd written with Carole King 25 years ago. Now, they're ready to share more surprises in 2020.
Alt-rock favorites Cage The Elephant, who broke through the dense alt-rock landscape of the late-'00s/early-'10s with "Ain't No Rest For The Wicked" in 2009, just earned their second golden gramophone. They won Best Rock Album for Social Cues, the Kentucky group's fifth studio album. The amazingly eclectic-dressed squad, with bassist Daniel Tichenor and drummer Jared Champion both wearing Helen Anthony threads, caught up with Stryker backstage to share in the excitement.
"I think all [albums] have their own journey, but this one took longer. I think it was exactly what it needed to be," guitarist Brad Shultz said. They also joked about how they felt their acceptance speech went ("second worst" compared to 2017). Lead vocalist Matt Shultz explains how he had typed up a speech with who to thank, along with a poem, but left it on his seat in the surprise moment of the win.
"It's just such a blessing to be able to share something with people and to bring people together, and I think that's the most gratifying thing that you can get out of any of this," Brad added. "It's such a blessing to be recognized by the Academy, and it's kind of confirmation that we're connecting with people."